No. 5 Aggies hold on against Sam Houston

Kyle Colligan drove in two runs and scored another two of his own, going 4-for-5 at the plate and leading the fifth-ranked Aggies to a 13-9 over Sam Houston State in the first meeting between A&M and former head coach Mark Johnson. Aggie Websider's Dallas Shipp has a full report from Huntsville and visits with Johnson, A&M head coach Rob Childress and more about the game and the reunion.

HUNTSVILLE, Texas—Through the first three innings on Tuesday night, it appeared that former Texas A&M head coach Mark Johnson and former Aggie players Todd Sebeck and Keith Stein might have a shot at a victory celebration over the school they used to call home.

But the Aggies ruined those plans with a season-high 22 hits, four homers and 13 unanswered runs off of seven different Bearkat pitchers over the final six innings of play, en route to a 13-9 win in front of a record-crowd of 1,821 at Don Sanders Stadium.

"We were ready to play and did what we could do, I was pleased (that we got the 3-0 lead) and I was glad they knew we were here, but I didn't think we had the game in hand by any means," Johnson said afterwards. "I thought we played our game and we fell short."

The Bearkats jumped out to a 3-0 lead thanks to an RBI fielder's choice by Ryan Trevino in the bottom of the second followed by an RBI double by Seth Hammock and RBI single by Nick Zaleski in the bottom of the third.

But A&M first baseman Luke Anders put the Bearkat revenge party on hold in the top of the fourth inning when he launched a three-run home run into the crowd of free loaders gathered on top of the hill over the right field fence, tying the game at three with his team-leading 12th homer of the season.

Brodie Green gave the Aggies their first lead of the game with an RBI single up the middle in the top of the sixth, and Dane Carter officially canceled the party with an opposite-field three-run blast in the top of the seventh, giving the Aggies a 7-3 lead.

"We didn't get off to a great start, we found ourselves down 3-0, but we didn't panic," Childress said. "We found a way to chip away and come back. We had some big innings and hit some home runs. It was a good night offensively for us—really good."

But A&M wasn't done.

In the top of the eight, Green added a solo shot and Kyle Colligan sent a monster two-run home run over the left field wall that way still be on it's way to Dallas.

Johnson went to the Bearkat bullpen immediately after the blast from Colligan, but Zac Baker couldn't cool off the Aggies' bats either.

A&M added another two runs in the frame on RBI singles by Jose Duran and Darby Brown.

The Aggies carried a 12-3 lead into the ninth inning when Brodie Greene scored his second run of the game on a sacrifice fly by Carter, which was Carter's game-high fourth RBI of the night.

Eight of the Aggies' nine offensive starters recorded at least one hit in the game, seven of which had multi-hit performances. Colligan, Carter, Duran, Brown and Green each recorded three hits.

A&M starter Kyle Migl gave up three runs early against the Bearkats, but then settled down, allowing just two hits in his final three innings of work.

The A&M bullpen was equally effective through the eighth, as Hank Robertson came in to face one batter, which he struck out on three pitches, followed by Kyle Thebeau and Michael Heard, who allowed a combined one hit over three innings.

The lone blemish for the Aggies' pitching staff came in the bottom of the ninth, when A&M closer Travis Starling came in for a mid-week appearance.

It was supposed to be a routine outing with a 10-run lead, and after retiring the first two batters, things seemed to be going as planned.

But that's when the wheels came off, giving A&M fans reason to be somewhat concerned heading into this weekend's series against Nebraska.

Six of the next seven hitters recorded a hit against Starling, with a hit batter--with the bases loaded--thrown in for good measure.

The Bearkats scored six runs against the Aggies' closer, but Childress said after the game that he's not worried about Starling heading into the monumental series against Nebraska this weekend.

"Travis Starling has been incredible all year long and if he's going to pick a night to be off, do it with a 10-run lead," Childress told the media after a lengthy discussion with his closer in the dugout following the game. "I told him, 'Hey you'll be on the mound Friday in a one-run game. If you do it 20 times out of 21, we'll take it. Just shake this off and get focused on the next one. He's our guy."

Starling and the Aggies will travel to Lincoln on Friday for a three-game series against Nebraska that will likely determine the 2008 regular season Big 12 Championship.

Aggie Websider will be in Lincoln all weekend as the Aggies look for their first regular season conference championship since 1999.

of head coach Rob Childress after Tuesday night's game.

of Kyle Colligan, who led the team with four hits while scoring two runs and driving in another pair.

of Sam Houston head coach Mark Johnson after Tuesday night's game.

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